Learning - Dolly Peel

Dolly Peel (1782 - 1857) was a famous South Shields character, a resourceful fishwife from the early years of the 19th century who was also a smuggler and a poet. A statue of Dolly Peel representing the resilience of local women, stands on River Drive in South Shields.

Download the activity sheet

You can download your Take One Treasure Dolly Peel activity sheet here

Activity 1 - Take a photograph

Dolly Peel photo portrait
Dolly Peel photo portrait

Look closely at Dolly’s facial expression and body language in the photograph.

• What is she thinking about? How is she feeling?

• Why do you think she is posing with a basket?

• Where do you think she is?

 Try and recreate this portrait yourself using only three things in your house.  

•  Take a selfie or get someone to take the picture for you. 

Activity 2 - What is a portrait?

• A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other creative representation of a person in which the face and its expression is the focus. 

• A portrait tries to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. 

Visit Google Arts & Culture to see examples and explore more about portraiture

Have a go at making a self-portrait. 

• Think about how you want to be portrayed. Will you wear a costume, makeup, change your hair style?

•  What will you be thinking about and what will you want to reveal about yourself to the viewer? 

• Experiment with materials you have at home. You can use photography, collage, paint, pencils, pens, crayons, natural elements from the garden, etc. 

Now try and make a portrait of someone you live with. 

Activity 3 - The art of the word

Create lists of words and phrases that describe the portraits you have made.

• Some portraits  tell a story or take the viewer on a journey.  Think about the portraits you have created.  Do they tell a story?

• Describe the setting, sounds and smells that might be present or the textures one might feel. Write a poem or short story using the vocabulary as inspiration. 

Share your work with us

Share what you have created with us - email us images or words to sslm@twmuseums.org.uk to help us create an online Facebook Gallery, by using @S_ShieldsMuseum #SSMAGatHome on Twitter.